Kano Travel Guide

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Tie And Dye

Tie And Dye

Beth Howe

Kano is one of the nicest cities to visit in Nigeria. It has been one of the most important trading towns for the Hausa, who had a big empire in the 18-th and 19-th century and are still one of the most influential people of Nigeria.

On the edge of the Sahel (the fringe of the Sahara) Kano has many cultural and historical links to the tribes of the southern Sahara. It’s a bustling and interesting city (the third-largest in the country—it’s grown at a frenzied pace in recent years) and though it’s noisy and crowded it’s much more bearable than Lagos.

Be sure to visit the walls of the Old City (there are 16 gates) and the massive Kurmi Market. Also in the Old City is the Central Mosque (now closed to non-Islamic visitors but worth seeing from outside especially during a Friday service). South of the mosque is the Emir’s Palace (you can’t enter it without a personal invitation from the emir) and across from the palace is the Gidan Makama Museum (historic and crafts exhibits). Indigo cloth is dyed at the Kofar Mata dye pits (the oldest in Africa). The Gidan Dan Hausa (an old colonial governor’s mansion) is worth a visit to see its unusual Hausa/Islamic architecture. There’s also a nice zoo south of town.

Excursions can be made to Katsina, Daura (a traditional Hausa town) Birnin Kudu (rock paintings) and Sokoto (with a sultan’s palace, and a good market for leather goods).

Kano is situated 836.5 km northeast of Lagos.

Historically, Kano has been a centre of trade especially towards the North across the Sahara and South to Zaria. It is currently the largest city in the North and the capital of Kano State. A marked distinction could however be noticed between the old Hausa City and the modern industrial one served by an international airport, rail lines and major roads.

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August 07, 2006 change by modir

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